INNA FALIKS, Juror
“Adventurous and passionate” (The New Yorker) Ukrainian-born pianist Inna Faliks (www.innafaliks.com) has established herself as one of the most exciting, committed, communicative and poetic artists of her generation. Faliks recently relocated from NYC to Los Angeles, after being named the new Associate Professor of Piano at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, where she also is Head of Piano. After her acclaimed teenage debuts at the Gilmore Festival and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she has performed on many of the world’s great stages, with numerous orchestras, in solo appearances, and with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Keith Lockhart. Critics call her “A concert pianist of the highest order” (Chicago WTTW), praise her “courage to take risks, expressive intensity and technical perfection” (General Anzeiger, Bonn), “remarkable insight” (Audiophile audition) “poetry and panoramic vision” (Washington Post), “riveting passion, playfulness” (Baltimore Sun) and “signature blend of lithe grace and raw power.” (Lucid Culture). Her October 2014 all-Beethoven CD release on MSR classics is drawing rave reviews: the disc’s preview on on WTTW called Faliks “High priestess of the piano, pianist of the highest order, as dramatic and subtle as a great stage actor.” Her previous, critically acclaimed CD on MSR Classics, Sound of Verse, was released in 2009, featuring music of Boris Pasternak, Rachmaninoff and Ravel. Her discography also includes a recital recording for the Yamaha Disklavier library. Recording projects in the works include a Chopin solo and cello sonatas recording with cellist Wendy Warner, and a disc of commissioned piano works for her poetry-music series, Music/Words, with music of Clarice Assad, Ljova Zhurbin, and other young composers.
Ms. Faliks’s distinguished career has taken her to thousands of recitals and concerti in prestigious venues in the US as well as in France, Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine, Estonia, Japan, as well as Russia. She has been featured on WQXR, WNYC, WFMT and many international television broadcasts, and has performed in major venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Concert Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paris’ Salle Cortot, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and in many important festivals such as Verbier, Brevard, Taos, IKIF at Mannes, Bargemusic, and Chautauqua. She recently co-starred with Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol in “Admission – One Shilling” , a play for pianist and actor about the life of Dame Myra Hess, the great British pianist. Her performance was described by Chicago Classical Music as “subtle and powerful, poised, beautiful, graceful and effortless.” She has played concerti under the batons of many conductors including Leonard Slatkin, Keith Lockhart, Edward Polochick, Daniel Meyer, Victor Yampolsky, and many others. Her chamber music partnerships include work with Fred Sherry, Ilya Kaler, Colin Carr, Wendy Warner, Nathaniel Rosen, Nina Beilina and others. Ms. Faliks is a Yamaha Artist. Her 2012-13 season engagements included Newport Festival, Le Poisson Rouge, a tour of Canada, return engagements in Salle Cortot in Paris, with Minnesota Sinfonia, a Prokofiev Concerti marathon at the Peninsula Festival in Door County, where she played the 1st and 3rd Prokofiev concerti in the same half of the program. This season, her performances include her recital and chamber music debuts in China and Israel and a recent, highly reviewed debut appearance and the famed Fazioli Concert Hall Series in Italy.
Committed to innovative programming, rarely heard and new music, as well as audience communication and education, Faliks has premiered 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg, variations by acclaimed contemporary composers, on Bach’s Aria, at LACMA, Los Angeles; she gave the New York premiere of the work at Bargemusic and the Chicago premiere on WFMT radio. Ms. Faliks performed and recorded the unknown piano works of Russian poet Boris Pasternak, presenting his music at lecture recitals in conjunction with the University of Chicago. At the Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies, she presented “Three Jewish Composers – Three Centuries”, giving the North American premiere of Ilya Levinson’s Shtetle Suite and the world premiere of Lev Ljova Zhurbin’s Sirota for piano and historical recording, written for her. She went on to create a one-woman show, including Jewish composers and her own essays, performing at Baruch Performance Center’s “Solo in the City - Jewish Women, Jewish Stars” Festival in NYC. Her Music/Words Series continues in 2013, in NYC’s Brooklyn Library, in LA’s Clarke Library, and in the Royce Hall Rehearsal Space in collaboration with Center for the Art of Performance. Last season, she collaborated with Poetry Foundation in Chicago to perform with best-selling Russian poet Vera Pavlova.
She was the winner of many prestigious competitions, including the Hilton Head International Competition and the coveted International Pro Musicis Award 2005. Ms. Faliks is the founder and curator of the LMCC award winning interdisciplinary series Music/Words – www.musicwordsnyc.com . This poetry-music series goes into its 6th NYC season, and has been described as “surreal, impactful, and relevant…she played with her signature blend of lithe grace and raw power” (Lucid Culture). Her long standing relationship with WFMT radio has led to yearly broadcasts of Music/Words, which she produces, and has been seen in Chicago in collaboration with Poetry Foundation. It debuted at Royce Hall at UCLA, with the best selling Russian poet Vera Pavlova.